TALLADEGA, Ala. – Drew Dollar escaped Talladega Superspeedway with his first ARCA Menards Series victory on Saturday after contact on the penultimate lap between the race leaders gave Dollar the lead.
Joe Gibbs Racing driver Riley Herbst was leading the Venturini Motorsports trio of Michael Self, Dollar and Ryan Repko coming down the backstretch with two laps left. The Venturini cars got a big run down the backstretch, allowing Self to pull to Herbst’s outside.
Entering turn three Self began to nose ahead of Herbst, but as they continued racing Self made contact with the right-front corner of Herbst’s car. The resulting contact led to Self spinning and Herbst losing all of his momentum, allowing third-place Dollar to blow by both of them to take the lead.
Herbst and Self were both able to continue, with Self managing to save his car from serious damage and continue on, allowing the race to remain under the green flag.
Now the race leader, Dollar was all by himself at the front of the field with teammate Repko and new third-place driver Bret Holmes quickly closing on him as Dollar took the white flag. Utilizing the draft, Repko and Holmes got a big run down the backstretch on Dollar, but they weren’t able to do anything with it.
Dollar, who led the first half of the race prior to the mid-race break, crossed the finish line first to score the victory by .115 seconds over Repko.
“I figured I’d probably be ending up second,” Dollar said. “I felt like Selfy (Michael Self) was going to stick to the top because I was giving him a good push. I would have been content pushing him all the way to the checkered.
“I saw Self turn down and maybe he trapped the 18 (Herbst) a little bit and at that point no one is going to give an inch. That’s just a racing deal. Luckily they didn’t come up and get me when they were finished wrecking.”
Repko just held off Holmes at the finish line for second. Herbst and Self followed in fourth and fifth, respectively.
The race featured a small field of 21 cars, with only the top-seven finishers completing all 76 laps. The lead group at the end of the race only featured the top-five finishers.
Drew Dollar, Ryan Repko, Bret Holmes, Riley Herbst, Michael Self, Thad Moffitt, Hailie Deegan, Jason Kitzmiller, Sean Corr, Ed Pompa, Scott Melton, Ryan Huff, Tanner Gray, Eric Caudell, Brandon Lynn, Gus Dean, Tim Richmond, Willie Mullins, Tommy Vigh Jr., Brad Smith, Con Nicolopoulos.